27th September, 2011
Reps Rejects Community Policing
Â The House of Representatives this afternoon threw out a motion seeking amendment to the constitution to provide for community policing across the country.
The motion which was sponsored by Hon Ogunnusi Abayomi (ACN, Lagos) sought amendment of the relevant constitutional provisions and extant laws to establish federal and state levels of policing to guarantee effective implementation of community policing in the country.Â It also prayed the lawmakers toÂ direct the Inspector General of police Mr. Hafiz Ringim to revive and re-activate community policing initiative and structures across the country to assist in combating current security challenges in the country.Â He recalled that â€œCommunity policing was officially launched in six pilot states of Benue, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Ondo and Ogun in 2004 and the project has since been supported by the Nigeria Safety and Security, Justice and Growth (SJG) programme and in 2007, the partnership extended to 12 additional states of Lagos, FCT. Cross Rivers, Kaduna, Anambra, Edo, Bauchi, Kogi, Imo, Katsina and Borno states bringing the total to 18 states with a visions to implement country-wide community policingâ€.Â
The motion however suffered a setback when the chairman of Power, Hon Patrick Ikhariale (PDP, Edo) raised a constitutional point of order citing section 241 of the 1999 constitution as amended and contended that, policing according to the provisions is absolutely within the purview of the Federal government.Â Attempts by the minority leader, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN, Lagos) to make his colleagues accept the motion was unsuccessful.
The Minority leader argued that the motion was in order since the said constitutional provisions were subject to amendment and was only seeking to refer the matter to the House constitution review committee.Â The deputy speaker, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session,Â then sought the input of the Business and Rules chairman, Hon Albert Sam Tsokwa (PDP, Taraba) who replied that since â€œIt is our duty to legislate why areÂ we coming by way of motion to compel ourselves to do our job?â€Â Tsokwaâ€™s position was sustained by Ihedioha, who went ahead to dismiss the motion.